MICHAEL COLINA (b.1948): Three Cabinets of Wonder for Violin and Orchestra, Goyescana for Guitar and Orchestra, Los Caprichos for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04M080
Label: Fleur de Son
Reference: FDS 57999
Description: Colina's biography sounds like a slightly unlikely character from a novel; to say that his background, influences and career are diverse and varied would be a considerable understatement. Some of the more obviously salient features are an upbringing in Cuba and the American south; jazz and theatrical music (alongside the major modern trends of the 20th century); a love of image and story and a colorful imagination. Now, apparently, free to write the concert music that he wants to, without restrictions, the result is a kind of very personal, eclectic Romanticism. The music is thoroughly tonal and readily approachable, but full of idiosyncrasies that, were it not for its technical prowess might almost classify it as 'outsider art'. The violin concerto presents Colina's idea of three musical curiosities, by analogy with the strange pseudo-scientific exhibitions that held people entranced in centuries gone by; a Mendelssohn pastiche; a story about the Buddha, given local color by the unexpected appearance of a tabla in duet with the soloist; and a colorful fable of the Amazon, vividly cinematic. The guitar concerto finds the composer paying tribute to his Latin roots, and also to Granados, in an ingeniously and originally scored, appealing and colorful work with the charm and atmosphere of a cross between Rodrigo's concerti and a Morricone film score. The 11 short movements of Los Caprichos represent scenes from Goya, with their themes of depravity, terror and moral ambiguity, in a suite of impressively vivid character pieces in variation form (and more than a hint of Shostakovich in the musical vocabulary). Anastasia Khitruk (violin), Michael Andriaccio (guitar), London Symphony Orchestra; Ira Levin.